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Press Releases

TDOT Approves $376K in Grants for 5 TN Airports

Press release from  the Tennessee Department of Transportation; August 10, 2012: 

NASHVILLE— The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced today that federal and state aeronautics grants totaling $376,623 have been approved for five Tennessee airports.

Airports receiving grants include:

  • Lebanon (Wilson County) – Lebanon Municipal Airport
  • Smyrna (Rutherford County) – Smyrna Airport
  • Millington (Shelby County) – Millington Regional Jetport
  • Trenton (Gibson County) – Gibson County Airport
  • Savannah (Hardin County) – Savannah-Hardin County Airport

For more details on each of these grants visit:

http://www.tn.gov/tdot/news/2012/GrantDetails8-10-2012.pdf

The grants are made available through the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division.

The Division administers federal and state funding to assist in the location, design, construction and maintenance of Tennessee’s diverse public aviation system.

Except for routine expenditures, grant applications are reviewed by the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission (TAC), which is a five member board charged with policy planning and with regulating changes in the state Airport System Plan. The board carefully reviews all applications for grants to ensure that the proper state and local matching funds are in place and that the grants will be used for needed improvements.

The TDOT Aeronautics Division has the responsibility of inspecting and licensing the state’s 126 heliports and 75 public/general aviation airports. The Division also provides aircraft and related services for state government and staffing for the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission.

Categories
Press Releases

Haslam Hands Out $620K for ‘Pedestrian Amenities’ in Downtown Dickson

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; July 25, 2012: 

DICKSON – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer today announced a grant of more than $620,000 to improve the pedestrian experience in downtown Dickson.

The Transportation Enhancement grant is $627,782 and will go toward Phase II of the Downtown Improvement Project, located on Main Street (State Route 48) from Railroad Street to East Walnut Street.

The project will add pedestrian sidewalks with brick pavers, crosswalks, ornamental street lighting, and other pedestrian amenities. A portion of Main Street will also be resurfaced, and new landscaping will be added.

“This project will further Dickson’s efforts to give its downtown a more vibrant, inviting appearance,” Haslam said. “When complete, the project will have positive impacts on the local economy, making downtown areas more accessible to residents and visitors.”

A variety of activities such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects are eligible for grant funds under the program.

“Through transportation enhancement grants, TDOT has funded more than $270 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” Schroer said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

The grant is made possible through a federally-funded program administered by TDOT.

State Sen. Jim Summerville (R-Dickson) and state Rep. David Shepard (D-Dickson) represent Dickson County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Categories
Press Releases

Six TN Airports Get Aeronautics Grants

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Transportation; July 18, 2012: 

NASHVILLE— The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced today that federal and state aeronautics grants totaling $314,077 have been approved for six Tennessee airports.

Airports receiving grants include:

  • Beech River Regional Airport (Hardeman County)
  • McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport (Madison County)
  • General DeWitt Spain Airport (Shelby County)
  • Monroe County Airport
  • Johnson County Airport
  • Wolf River Airport (Shelby County)

For more details on each of these grants visit:

http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/news/2012/PSR-PressRelease7-18-2012.pdf

The grants are made available through the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division.

The Division administers federal and state funding to assist in the location, design, construction and maintenance of Tennessee’s diverse public aviation system.

Except for routine expenditures, grant applications are reviewed by the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission (TAC), which is a five member board charged with policy planning and with regulating changes in the state Airport System Plan. The board carefully reviews all applications for grants to ensure that the proper state and local matching funds are in place and that the grants will be used for needed improvements.

The TDOT Aeronautics Division has the responsibility of inspecting and licensing the state’s 126 heliports and 75 public/general aviation airports. The Division also provides aircraft and related services for state government and staffing for the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission.

Categories
Featured News Tax and Budget

Taxpayers Buy Tickets for 3 of 10 Music City Star Riders

The Music City Star’s ridership has been on the uptick lately. The commuter rail line from Nashville to Lebanon exceeded 1,000 weekday “passenger trips” twice last month, tallying some of the highest ridership numbers to date.

But almost a third of those who take the train daily are government employees who ride on the taxpayers’ dime, according to the Regional Transportation Authority. And the train still isn’t meeting the 1,500 passenger-trips a day that planners predicted at the outset would be the norm by 2007, a year after the train first launched.

The Music City Star averaged just 866 daily riders in September this year.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation pays $500,000 to put 1,715 participating employees on Nashville-area public transit, including Metro buses and the Music City Star.

But Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey signaled recently that government workers may in the future be asked to pay their own way on the Music City Star.

“We want to make sure it pays for itself,” the Blountville Republican told TNReport during an interview earlier this month. “Taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing that.”

Ramsey said he’s not as concerned by the fact that 27 percent of riders are state employees as he is that taxpayers are “picking up the tab” for their tickets.

Another 2 percent of the riders are Metro Nashville workers who also don’t pay the $5 one-way fee to ride the train.

“TDOT supports this program because it helps reduce congestion on our roadways and in turn, helps improve air quality in the Nashville area – and it helps encourage people to use transit who might not otherwise do so,” Julie Oaks, the department’s spokeswoman, said via e-mail.

She said the state is required to reduce emissions to meet standards of the Environmental Protection Agency, and encouraging employees to take public transit is one way to do that.

The department issues those riders a swipe card and, relying on the honor system, allows state employees ride public transit to and from work.

The Music City Star is a commuter rail line that makes 12 trips between downtown Nashville and Lebanon each week day.

It costs $4 million of the Regional Transportation Authority’s $6.3 million mostly government-funded budget to keep the train running.

The state covers about $1.3 million of the RTA’s budget, and Metro adds another $1.6 million to keep the train chugging along. The rest is made up of $2 million in federal funds, an expected $800,000 in ticket-sales revenue and another $600,000 in fees from municipalities to support specific transportation lines.

State and local governments aren’t the only employers that pay for their workers to ride.

Private employers and schools including Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Pinnacle Bank and Letter Logic all spring for the cost of their employees’ tickets so they can ride free or at reduced rates, according to RTA.